Wizards Off to Winless Start

Charles E. Sutton | 11/9/2012, 3:08 p.m.

Wizards Off to Winless Start

With three games down and 79 to go, the Washington Wizards have yet to get a win. Three games may be too small a sample size to constitute a trend, however, the Wizards' starting five have struggled. The play of Bradley Beal, Emeka Okafor, and Trevor Ariza, has begun to cause concern for Wizards fans and coaches alike.

A sense of urgency has now overtaken the Wizards. Slow starts have directly led to three defeats, and furious rallies fell short in the end. That needs to change when Washington, still looking for its first win, hosts the Milwaukee Bucks tonight at Verizon Center.

A loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers and two losses to the Boston Celtics, account for the team's winless season, thus far. In the first two games in particular, the Wizards' starters created double-digit deficits and leaned on their bench to dig them out a hole just to make the games competitive.

Coach Randy Wittman sat and watched his starting unit dig a 15-point hole in the first quarter of an 89-86 loss to Boston on Saturday at Verizon Center. He wondered what could have caused his team to get off to such a slow start. After the game, Wittman said he would have to consider making some adjustments if the team continued to start games slowly.

"When you get off to starts like this, you do wonder what's going on," Wittman said. "We just got blitzed again at the start of the game."

The starting lineup of Beal, Okafor, Ariza, A.J. Price, and Trevor Booker started just two of the eight preseason contests, and the players feel that a lack of familiarity contributed to some of their early struggles.

However, after the first loss against Boston, Price would not use that as an excuse for the starters missing 13 of 14 shots and failing to actually make a basket until Booker made a finger roll with five minutes left in the first quarter.

"I don't really have an answer to why we're not coming out with the sense of urgency," Price said. "Right now, that's the biggest thing. You can understand missing shots and things like that. That happens in games. You're going to miss shots. But to look lethargic, like we did is unacceptable."

The Wizards' slow start does have a silver lining. There are 79 games remaining, which means they have plenty of time to turn things around.